Faith, Family, and Football!

Written by on April 30, 2018



On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS April 30, 2018, #690…Faith, Family, and Football!
After further review…With the 2018 NFL draft completed over the weekend, the 250 plus selected-players are excited to get started on their football opportunities. May this reminder serve them well: Be sure your priorities are in order e.g., Faith, Family, and Football. Legendary Green Bay Packers coach, the late Vince Lombardi, would remind his T*E*A*M at the beginning of each season: “Gentlemen, remember your priorities: Faith, Family and the Green Bay Packers.” His players told me that he often got those three mixed up!
Jake Locker reshaped his life by resetting his priorities. In a recent issue of Sports Illustrated, SI writer Greg Bishop recounts his interview with Locker, who was drafted eighth in 2011 behind some great players still playing: Cam Newton, Von Miller, A.J. Green and Julio Jones, to name a few. Locker is not playing this year, nor has he played since the 2014 season. In 2011 he signed with the Tennessee Titans for $12.5 million, after finishing his senior year at the University of Washington where he compiled nearly 5,000 yards passing.
Living in Ferndale, Washington located on the coast of Puget Sound, Jake followed a great family legacy and led the Golden Eagles to a 2005 Class 3A state championship as a running quarterback. The high school is rich in the QB position. His father, Scott and three uncles previously starred at Ferndale as well as Doug Pederson, current head coach of the Super Bowl LII champion Philadelphia Eagles. So why, after being a first-round pick and listed at 6’5″ 230 lbs. with All-American credits and playing four seasons with the Titans, did he just quit? Yes, a foot injury in his third year (2013) did end that season as well as being placed on I.R. (injured reserve) in his fourth season. Yet, he was physically able to return for the 2015 season.
However, Locker’s reason for giving up NFL was not that he didn’t like football, he just didn’t love being in the NFL. He said it wasn’t a job, but more of an addiction. Jake felt he wasn’t authentic. Questions burdened his mind: “Who am I and who will my children know me as?” as he reordered his priorities putting his faith in Jesus and his family before football. He stated he was grateful for his NFL experience but was moving in a different direction. Faith, family, and football? No one really lives that way – except Jake Locker, who says, “I am really happy now!”
Will you look at your life’s priorities and ensure you are living them the way you want?
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